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The Land, Its Problems And Ritual Solutions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses cases of illness and misfortune that find their root in problems related to the economic and sacred aspects of the land and its resources. It concerns with the ritual treatment of disputes arising between non-relatives, and between members of different ethnic communities, over questions of land ownership, the most common source of dispute among people all over Sikkim?land boundary disputes between relatives. The chapter looks at the consequences of polluting or destroying objects of nature within the village and how these are perceived locally and cured ritually. The author leaves the village in order to discuss the case of what was perceived to be a wrongdoing perpetrated against the sacred land that acquired state-level proportions. The successful protest movement against the construction of a hydro-electric power station on the sacred Rathong Chu river at Yuksum in West Sikkim was instigated by a group of urban Lhopo activists.

Keywords: ethnic communities; hydro-electric power station; land boundary disputes; Lhopo relatives; Rathong Chu river; ritual treatment; sacred hidden land



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